After attending a day of workshops the last week of August, I decided to use the tool to record my lectures live. I knew it wouldn’t be perfect, but I also knew a lot of new students would miss the first week of classes. I teach a lot of independent courses. Many times the schedules clash for the students between the independent courses and their normal program courses. They simply cannot come to all classes.
I decided to film the lectures live and post them on It’s Learning, not as a replacement for coming to class, but as a complement to the course. The students have been very grateful, and those who would have otherwise already dropped off of the course have decided to stay and make a go of it… even if they cannot always attend.
It has actually been very easy to do with my laptop, with CaptureSpace desktop recorder, and with MahPlay. I open CaptureSpace, select “Presentations and Lectures”, upload my PowerPoint, point the computer toward myself and the white board, and press start!
The program automatically films me teaching and shows the PowerPoint. I run the slides as normal from my computer. VERY EASY! Even someone like myself, who is “technologically challenged,” can do it.
Uploading the completed film after class has been easy too. I press “upload” in CaptureSpace and it uploads the film automatically into MahPlay, where I can then get an imbedded link to put into It’s Learning. Maybe it sounds like a lot the first time around, but after doing it a couple of times, it is easy.
The students have a lot of freedom with how they watch the video on It’s Learning too. As they are watching the lecture video, they can choose to have either…
- The PowerPoint larger and my teaching video smaller in the corner.
- My teaching video larger with the PowerPoint small in the corner.
- To have the PowerPoint only
- To have my teaching video only.
They can toggle easily back and forth between these options with one click. For instance, if they see that I start to write on the white board, they can make my teaching video larger with the PowerPoint smaller or gone, so that they can clearly see what I am writing on the white board.
Both the students and I are pleased with the results. They are not perfect yet… not even close. I could use a lapel mic for better sound quality, or an ambient mic in the room to pick up what the students say in our discussions. I need to also learn how to edit the beginning and end to give it a cleaner start.
However, it works well enough. Students who have missed classes in these first 3 weeks of classes have already been able to keep up with their studies. For this, they are grateful.
If it’s worth doing at all, then it’s worth doing poorly. Perfectionism is not the goal.